Globalization: Friend or Foe of Modern Learning?


Globalization has contributed to an amazing realm of possibility for modern education. But we can’t always assume it is always beneficial. We need to take critical stances as educators, and help ourselves, and our learners, to question what people say and write online. Question the motivations of others. While Globalization is amazing and the reason why we are emerging into new Modern Learning paradigms, Globalization can also be disparaging if we are not careful.

Perhaps the greatest friend of our 21st century is globalization, but it is also a foe in how it can scripts us, and re-script our histories. I have a growing concern that concepts and movements, and new trends have the potential to powerfully script new realities to benefit the privileged, white, heterosexual middle class. For instance, Growth Mindsets have become something other than what Carol Dweck originally intended for some educators. I believe that globalization practices, including social media, when there are no critical voices, have the ability to promote messages that might not be true. The concepts, ideas, and realities become something completely different than what was originally intended.

As educators, it is also important to ensure that our present does not replace and re-script the realities of our country’s history, especially that of our First Nations, Metis & Inuit, through globalization practices. Beyond assimilation, when we keep adding our own layers of understanding without critical stances, we are at risk of becoming scripted. For instance, the Legend of the 2 Wolves is a popular teaching tool in elementary schools. I have no idea if it is genuine or not, but I also have never checked this story out with any FNMI communities. According to this article, there are no local communities that this tale comes from. It is apparently not even a Native story. It becomes popular. We re-script our history.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission is an excellent example of how we can harness the power of globalization to teach people about Canada’s past, and present. I hope that this will not become re-scripted.

If educators are change-agents, then re-scripting new concepts and movements to continue ‘normalized’ teaching and learning practices will only serve to benefit the privileged. This in turn negates real change, and continues to maintain supportive and empowering spaces for the status quo. It also Supports schools as harmful spaces for oppressed groups.

The remedy? Not easy, but a good start is to always taking a critical stance. Always question from who and where the information is coming from. Questioning our own biases and learning how our own biases shape the information we choose to hear and give privilege to in our learning environments.

What do you think?


Deborah McCallum

c 2016





One response to “Globalization: Friend or Foe of Modern Learning?”

  1. […] via Globalization: Friend or Foe of Modern Learning? — Big Ideas in Education […]


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